‘LOST WOMEN in Art.’  (photo credit: Kiki Kogelnik Foundation)
‘LOST WOMEN in Art.’ (photo credit: Kiki Kogelnik Foundation)
Israeli art roundup: The power of destiny, buildings in disguise


Visit On Point, A Group Show by Ben Hagari at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (4 Habanim St.). The exhibition offers a glimpse into a personal exploration of the history and mechanisms of moving images. Ranging from a 1935 black and white animation piece by Lotte Reiniger (Papagano), a 2003 work by William Kentridge (Typewriter 1), a 2015 video-art piece by Rirkrit Tiravanija (Bangkok Boogie Woogie No. 2) ending with a 2022 work by Hagari himself (I, Pencil). This is a detailed and thought-rich exhibition.

Stay to enjoy La Forza Del Destino, a comprehensive exhibition of works on paper by the late artist Aviva Ori collected by Benno Kalev, holder of the largest collection in the country of works on paper, which includes not just Ori but also Moshe Gershuni, Raffi Lavie and Jacob Steinhardt. This is the first time art lovers can see a large collection of works by Ori presented in one space since the 2002 retrospective at Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod, curated by Galia Bar Or.

Kalev began his life as a collector in the early 1960s when he could not stop looking at a work by Steinhardt, then shown at Wolman Gallery, in Tel Aviv. The owner informed him of two facts: the work costs 200 Palestine Pounds and they accept installments.

This is how Kaleb, an accountant born to Jewish-Bulgarian Holocaust survivors, took the first step to becoming a collector. This anecdote, shared with art writer Gilad Melzer, mirrors Lavie’s story.

Bertha Urdang, who owned Rina Gallery in Jerusalem, declined to show Lavie’s works. By chance, the painter Efraim Roeytenberg (Fima) walked in, saw the works and told Urdang she must present them. Kaleb’s interest in the power of fate is reflected in the name selected for the exhibition.

 THE FACADE of the Museum of Israeli Art Ramat Gan.  (credit: Amit Fisher CreativeLabs) THE FACADE of the Museum of Israeli Art Ramat Gan. (credit: Amit Fisher CreativeLabs)


Do not miss Miscellaneous, a group exhibition at the Edmond De Rothschild Center (Closing date Thursday, March 9). Curated by Ofra Harnam, the exhibition includes works by Liz Marr, Leory-Bar Natan, Amit Naor and others.

In Promise, Marr created a stunning, alluring cargo chest that glows in pink hues. It is unclear if this is an artist who unpacked her belongings and settled in the art field of this harsh land or is about to put her works in it and leave to seek other climates. The wise positioning of this work is a masterful step by Harnam.

Naor created The Sound that Moves the Earth. A series of string instruments, fully functional, made with ceramic casting.

Bar-Natan took a bold departure from his previous works, which focused on the body, to explore a family history so far left unspoken.

In the early years of the 20th century, his relative, then a good-looking Jewish child, was kidnapped by Armenian nuns and tattooed in an attempt to conceal her origins.

This happened in Qamishli, northeast Syria. After her mother dragged the child back from the nuns, the story took an odd twist. She would vanish for days and then return.

In the context of the times and community, it was believed she was dragged below the earth by demons.

Bar-Natan created a large charcoal-on-fabric work titled Badre and Serah and offers audio recordings of his attempts to piece together what actually took place by speaking with relatives.

With a variety of tattoos on his own body, ranging from birds and snakes to a queen chess piece (“my grandfather taught me the game,” he told The Jerusalem Post), Bar-Natan shared a little of his path as an artist.

Two years ago at Kibbutz Beeri, he presented In the Beginning, it was Dark. “This was my attempt to build a home,” he said, “I covered the walls with left-over paper from Beeri print and created anatomical body drawings with an emphasis on the trans body.” Bar-Natan is trans himself. The exhibition included video art depicting his body as a brown cake with a reddish filling devoured and then, as the film is screened in a loop, emerges again, whole.

In an ongoing series of performances titled How to Make a Living from Art, he challenged the economical roles in the art market. He stood behind window-shop windows and presented himself to passersby, anyone who gazed at him was quickly depicted in on-the-spot sketches. The lustful gaze of possible clients became material for the artist to use to make art products.

In the artwork shown, it is left unclear if Badre and Serah are holding hands in solidarity or are actually standing in isolation from one another.

The exhibition is the culmination of the Edmond de Rothschild Center’s Incubator project, now in its second year. Bar-Natan and the other nine artists included are recent graduates of the program. (104 Rothschild Blvd. Opening Hours: Tuesday to Thursday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

Watch Picasso, l’inventaire d’une vie (Picasso: The Legacy), shown with English voice-over, a 2014 documentary by Hugues Nancy screened on Thursday, March 9, at 10:30 a.m., as part of the 14th edition of the Epos film festival at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd).

Picasso was a world-famous painter who left behind 50,000 works or more in 11 houses. The film explores both his so far unknown works and the legal issues that took place when his many descendants wanted to, well, own a Picasso.

Return on Saturday, March 11, at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to watch Lost Women in Art. A German two-part mini-series about women artists like Kiki Kogelnik, an Austrian pop artist, German-Jewish portrait painter Julie Wolfthorn, Russian avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova and many others.

Curator Ruti Direktor will speak before the screening about women artists in context. For more information, visit: www.lostwomenart.de/en. NIS 48 per ticket. For tickets, call: 073-374-4807.


Visit the opening of Atoma (Opaque), a group exhibition at the Hava Art Gallery (1 HaNechoshet St.) on Thursday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. The exhibition deals with the black opaque garbage bag most Israelis are quite familiar with via the imaginations of 34 different artists and designers. Curated by Guy Morag based on an idea suggested by Reut Dafna.


Visit the historic Police Building (122 Jabotinsky St.) daily between 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. to watch Buildings in Disguise, a special city project for the holiday of Purim.

The building, which Irgun members broke into in April 1946 to secure weapons from the British, will display huge superhero-like visuals honoring the Jewish fighters.

The facade of the Museum of Israeli Art Ramat Gan (146 Aba Hillel Silver St.) will present an AI-generated visual tour of various artistic styles.

Rambam Square will offer something different. From noon to 5 p.m., patrons will be able to draw or paint their own art, scan it and see it screened on nearby buildings. The closing date for all three attractions is Thursday, March 9.


Visit Common Fractions by Esther Cohen which opened on Saturday at the Art Gallery and the Archeology Museum in the same-named Kibbutz. Curated by Yonit Kadosh and Miri Werner, this exhibition offers detailed sketches and video art based on pre-historic findings. The gallery is open on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment (call Werner at 052-248-5391).


Attend an experimental archeology workshop in English with Werner Pfeifer, an expert on Mesolithic culture who will instruct patrons on how to cook without tools.

Offered at the Museum of Yarmukian Culture on Thursday, March 16, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on the following two days. This is a one-day workshop that includes a tour of the museum, NIS 350 per person. The workshop is meant for those 16 years of age or older. To register, call Dr. Inbar Katlav at 050-790-0679.

German readers might enjoy picking up Pfeifer’s 2019 book Mittelsteinzeit, ein Leben im Paradies? (Mesolithic, a life in Paradise?). The book attempts to answer why hunter-gatherer cultures were active for one thousand years despite the shift to farming and animal husbandry that took place during the middle-stone age (Mesolithic) era.

This is but one workshop offered as part of the experimental archeology series. Patrons can also learn how to tan sheep skins with Theresa Emmerich Kamper and work in flint with Robert Graf. As Israeli art turns towards the deep study of the past, this might prove beneficent to working artists and curators.


Alexander Bogen and his legacy will be reexamined in court following an appeal by his granddaughter, Tali Bogen.

An important Jewish painter often remembered in the context of his personal history as a partisan artist during the Holocaust, Bogen left a will that testified to his two wishes: That works be sold as needed to secure the financial interests of his surviving family members and that a solution would be found to keep the works together and present them to the public.

His granddaughter argues that this second element of the will was not respected and is appealing to the High Court.

In a radio interview she gave alongside curator Galia Bar Or to Goel Pinto, Bogen said she was able to secure and catalog two thousand paintings.

Bar Or explained that in a land that is half desert which is well-suited to preserve artwork, it is not beyond the ability of the state to create a national body to preserve the material heritage of Israeli art.

Art expert Nirit Shalev Khalifa wrote to the court that she was surprised to learn of a request that museums should first approach them and then they will offer the museum artwork.

“Such things do not happen in reality,” she informed the court, adding that whoever wrote this has no understanding of the art world.

Museums are interested in a few pieces that stand in relation to their goal as an art or a Holocaust museum, nobody will spend millions to create a wing for just one artist without a very powerful patron backing this act, she argued.

Shalev Khalifa lauded Bogen for her passion to promote the work of her late grandfather and warmly endorsed handing over the entire estate to her non-profit.

The engine behind the formation of Bogen’s Foundation for Partisan Arts, Bogen seems eager to salvage and promote the artistic merit of her grandfather in a country famous for neglecting its artistic treasures.

The current manager of the estate sent Pinto a written response in which he argued the radio is not the best place to discuss this issue and that he will state his case in court.

This is the third time Bogen has turned to the court for aid against the manager of the estate.

In her article Bogen and other Jewish artists who worked during the Holocaust, Polish art scholar Magdalena Tanowska included these words by the late Bogen: “I am an artist, I will use this term, broken in half. I went out of the hell of darkness into the light of the sun. Here in Israel, I was reborn. I breathe with its light, the sun and the air. They say that I’m a colorist. Yes. Because I sing all my songs with colors.”

Art Roundup is a monthly glance at some of the finest art exhibitions currently being shown across the country. Artists, curators and collectors are welcome to send pitches to hagay_hacohen@yahoo.com with “Art Roundup” in the email subject.

Load more